From food products manufacturing to the synthetics and paper industries – anywhere employees work shifts in 24-hour operations, shift reports from SAP are the right tool for recording and passing on relevant information in a secure and efficient way.
The traditional first question SAP developers have to answer is, “How can I create a new function as an integrated component?” In the case of shift reports, the answer is Enhancement Package 3 for SAP ERP. It gives users access to every important piece of information within their SAP system without requiring various types of media. Companies can implement this function with a focus on both production facilities (production view) and subsystems / technical objects (maintenance view). Shift reports have been available since the fall of 2008 to all customers using SAP ERP 6.0.
SAP shift reports in practice
Shift reports can record and evaluate relevant events for shift changes, or for keeping minutes. They are also suitable for generating cumulative reports (daily, weekly, monthly, and annual reports) and, abridged as needed, make ideal reports for production and company management.
Using custom settings, users can determine which information they want included in a shift report, for example:
- Any shift-relevant events (cleaning times, modified machine settings, work accidents, and so on);
- production- and maintenance-relevant data from the SAP ERP application; the report can record such information directly without switching media;
- graphics and customer-specific data.
During shift changes, the shift report is generated and stored as a PDF document. Users can sign it electronically according to their industry and application before printing out or e-mailing the report; the electronic signature meets the requirements of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For added convenience, the function can also automatically generate and send shift reports.
Diverse performance features for every requirement
As a modern function within a sophisticated system, SAP’s shift reports come with a variety of features – all of which are intended to ensure smooth working and business processes.
(1) Shift-relevant events can:
- Be recorded as shift notes;
- be created manually or automatically through third-party systems (MES or process control systems, for example);
- pertain to a certain point in time or any broader period;
- be assigned to freely definable event categories (such as “accident in transit,” “mechanical failure,” or “shift directive”) for better processability;
- reference any object in an SAP object event repository, facilitating, for example, combination with a production order;
- be supplemented with files.
Additional features include:
(2) Use of freely definable text components;
(3) integrated electronic full-text search function;
(4) automatic archiving of all stored shift reports, including saved files;
(5) integration of customer-specific data by means of special components (BAdIs);
(6) initiation of additional entry and authorization checks or subsequent actions (for example automatic notification of plant management upon generation of a shift report).
An expansion of this function is planned for Enhancement Package 5 for SAP ERP. Key add-ons will include:
- A cockpit that includes an auto-refresh function users can implement to optimally manage and process shift events;
- standard integration of quality management messages into shift reports;
- an option to automatically notify certain users upon creating or changing events.
Shift reports in SAP ERP: The benefits at a glance
- Electronic shift reports eliminate the need for a paper-based shift log.
- Since the function is an integral part of SAP ERP 6.0, users gain access to every piece of important information within the system without having to deal with various media.
- The reports can easily integrate customer-specific data.
- Users can digitally sign shift reports.
- Integrated free-text searching makes finding certain situations easier.